Tuesday, 14 June 2011

My Lilliputains

What exactly did Gulliver feel when he landed in the land of Lilliputians? Was he amazed, was he amused, did he feel wiser, or did he feel like a fool? Did he feel all too powerful or were their times when he realized that he was being manipulated?

 I think it must have been a mixture of all these feelings, emotions and realizations.

Living with five nephews and nieces (families of two brothers), I feel like a Gulliver in the land of little people, and can relate to what he must have felt.

And now the brief introduction of my Lilliputians:

Saif: An eight year old cricket fan, Saif is the eldest in this abode taken over by Lilliputians. His aim in life is to become a cricketer, and a permanently bald patch of land in our front lawn vouches for his devotion to cricket. For Saif this bald patch serves as the pitch for his cricket matches, and for me it is an eye sore.  And thus a recurring bone of contention between us. Every other day, I plant a few blades of grass in the hope of turning this eye sore into an emerald; and every other day, Saif smashes all my emerald dreams with a mighty hit of his brand new bat.

Saif often wonders: why do we have to study in school? Music, cricket and swimming should be enough! And Why Exams?

Zainab: There is no gender balance in this land of Lilliputians; Zainab is the only female around. About to be a seven- year-old in July, Zainab constantly wonders what purpose fruits and vegetables serve. Surely, not to satisfy hunger or to cater to our taste buds, since they are not eatables, she declares. Zainab subsists on milk, eggs and mutton curry. There was a time when she fell in love with porridge but that love somehow went awry.  

Zainab has a thing for personal freedom which for her is signified by her tresses. Try to tie her hair or have it cut and you will have it: a tantrum which can last till eternity. (I wonder why this sounds so familiar... seems to run in the family, after all I am her father’s sister!) Take her for shopping, and she will come back, without fail, sulking over the pathetic state of all the shopping malls in the city. Since none has the right dress, the perfect toy, or the right kind of shoe that she wants. After one trip, she can sulk for a day or so, and then the second trip to the same shops can yield fruitful results.

Not really into cricket, but doesn’t like it when she can’t play like Saif. Zainab loves books and can be seen tapping away at his father’s laptop, writing stories. 

Omar: A four year old mixture of wonder, delight and awful tantrums, Omar is Saif and Zainab’s younger brother. He believes that thumb sucking is the best substitute for eating or drinking anything. His greatest comfort, the biggest enjoyment and, I think, a source of nirvana is his thumb. A couple of times he has been found trying to devise a method whereby he can insert some food and drink in his mouth without having to take out his thumb. Red chilies, green chilies and some other bitter concoctions have been tried in a bid to make the thumb distasteful. But nothing has worked so far.

All other children have this running complaint that I am too indulgent towards him. He is allowed to call me by t name (because this is how he likes it), he can mess up my room anytime (which for him is changing of décor), and can get away with almost anything.

Well, I don’t really have anything to say in my defense except one thing: Omar seriously tries to figure out how he can bring down the moon for me. Two workable ideas are: making a high enough ladder for him to reach the moon and pluck it from the sky; and training two birds (actually sparrows) to fly high, reach the moon, pluck it from the sky with their beaks, hold it in their beaks from two sides  and bring it down right into my lap!

Can I help being indulgent towards someone who constantly worries about bringing down the moon for me!

Saif, Zainab and Omar live with their two cousins: Roshan and Mohib

Roshan: He is a soon- to- be- four- year old bundle of energy and hypersensitivity who can cry heart rendingly at the slightest pretext. Roshan hero-worships Saif whom he calls Taetoo. He thinks that anything that Taetoo says is bound to be right, and Taetoo is the best cricketer in the whole wide world.

Roshan and I have one standing agreement: the moon belongs to me, and he can have all the stars and the sun. But he hasn’t given up the hope of convincing me to trade off my moon for his sun.
I am not giving up, and neither is he.

Mohib:.Twenty two months old, Mohib is Roshan’s younger brother and the youngest of Lilliputians. If you ask him whose son he is, his prompt reply is: Zainab’s.

Mohib has the kind of voice which makes you look at him and wonder where the voice coming from. He can’t stand criticism of any kind. He likes to repeat whatever Roshan says, and believes he is capable of doing anything that the four elders Lilliputians can do.

Try to stop him from something and he will invoke all the evil spirits, Mr. Clown, the cat with big whiskers, and the Mickey Mouse to come and take you away. So scold him at your own risk.  

1 comment:

  1. I know one thing for sure: you alone have got most of the characteristics of your little Lilliputians.